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Digital examinations proved driver was dealing cocaine

A man has been jailed for possessing cocaine with intent to supply thanks to digital investigations and expert police knowledge.

Liam Foster-Richards, of Dryslwyn in Carmarthenshire, was sentenced to three-and-a-half-years after being found with cocaine worth more than £6,000 in November 2019.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers had stop searched the 26-year-old after the BMW he was driving was seen travelling to the South Wales Police area with a quick turnaround back to Carmarthenshire.

Inspector Kerry Scoberg said: “The suspect’s car was located in Carmarthen town, and when stopped he made a significant comment that officers would find drugs on his person.

“A search led to 55.93g of what was discovered to be high purity cocaine – a class A substance – being recovered, and the driver was arrested.”

Foster-Richards was interviewed and admitted possession of class A drugs, but denied that he was involved in supplying illegal substances.

As part of the investigation, a mobile phone that had been found in his car was examined by a digital forensic investigator. A number of deleted text messages were found spanning the four months leading up to Foster-Richards’ arrest, containing incriminating details.

“These messages suggested Foster-Richards was actively involved in the supply of controlled drugs,” Insp Scoberg said.
“There were a number of conversations about the cost and quantity of substances, as well as arrangements for bank transfers to be made.
“This was added to the file of evidence compiled to prove this was an offence of possession with intent to supply, not simply possession of cocaine.”

Following forensic examination, the cocaine was established to have a street value in the region of £6,170. Expert advice was submitted by the Serious and Organised Crime Team, who evidenced that this quantity was significantly more than could be argued was for personal use.

Foster-Richards was charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs, which he admitted at Swansea Crown Court. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Monday, April 26.

Suspended sentences were also activated for previous offences of affray and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, to be served concurrently.

Insp Scoberg said: “This was an excellent investigation with contributions from a number of departments leading to a significant sentence for an active drug dealer.

“Thanks to diligent work in examining the defendant’s mobile phone in detail, and expert knowledge from our CID team, we were able to prove the quantity of cocaine was not for personal use, and have disrupted the supply of illegal substances in the Carmarthenshire and wider areas.”

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